McKENZIE — The splash pad will open soon in downtown McKenzie. The water features were added last week to the concrete pad, that will spray water in intermittent cycles for the enjoyment of children and adults. It is expected to open in late June or early July.
It is located in city-owned land near the railroad depot.
Mayor Jill Holland said the city received a state grant with a 50 percent match to construct the splash pad. McKenzie is expected to have a local cost of $50,000 to $60,000 in cash, plus the appraised value of $105,000 for the real estate and its in-kind labor for preparing the site for construction. Overall, the project is valued at $500,000, said the mayor.
The city held public hearings concerning the development of a splash pad as part of the application process for the grant. The decision to build the splash pad was the result of community planning sessions the state parks and recreation department conducted in McKenzie several years ago. The community developed a list of long- and short-term goals, which also included a skate board park, disc golf, theater, and farmers market. The city decided to construct it downtown, just as Martin, Ripley, Selmer, Fayetteville, Savannah, and several other Tennessee cities have done. The value of the city-owned land counted toward the city’s one-half cost of the project. The grant was non-transferrable to other recreational projects and could not be installed at City Park because the value of the land can only be used once as in-kind funding in a LRPF grants. The City Park was developed over a period of years and was the result of state and federal grants.
McKenzie Street Department and McKenzie Water Department performed much of the city’s portion of in-kind labor. The city is also installing infrastructure for construction of restrooms in the future. In the interim, the city will place portajohns nearby.
Vortex, an international company that installs splash pads, charged $161,214 for the equipment plus $94,000 for its installation. The state will reimburse the city for one-half the overall cost, including land value.